Friday, July 19, 2024

United States: Tornadoes and thunderstorms kill at least 18 people


At least 18 people were killed by tornadoes and severe storms that hit Arkansas, Indiana and Illinois on Friday. Strong winds and thundershowers are currently moving towards the northeast of the country.

According to a provisional report, there was significant damage in three states and a total of 18 deaths. On Friday, March 31, at least five people were killed and nearly thirty others were injured by a powerful tornado that swept across the southern US state of Arkansas. Seven people died in Tennessee due to severe weather, all in McNairy County, east of Memphis, state disaster management agency spokeswoman Maggie Hannon told AFP.

Residents of the capital, Little Rock, woke up Saturday to overturned cars, large uprooted trees, broken telephone poles and burned homes. The town of Wynne, in the state’s northeast, was “basically cut in half by the damage from east to west,” lamented Mayor Jennifer Hobbs with CNN. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier in the day declared a state of emergency and deployed about 100 National Guardsmen.

Nearly 54,000 households are without electricity

In the north of the country, in Belvidere, a small town west of Chicago in Illinois, part of the roof and facade of the Apollo Theater collapsed in the middle of a concert by a heavy metal band. Thunderstorm. Belvidere Fire Chief Shawn Schadl reported one death and 28 injuries, including five hospitalized with serious injuries.

Television footage showed injured spectators being carried out on stretchers, and photos on social media showed a waist-high pile of debris and a hole in the roof of the venue.

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In neighboring Indiana, three people were killed by the storm in Sullivan County, officials said, citing several US media outlets.

At least 154,000 homes were without power on Saturday, according to US site Poweroutage. The National Weather Service has issued warnings for high winds and severe storms that could hit the Northeast, including Ohio.

Tornadoes, weather phenomena that are difficult to predict, are common in the United States, especially in the center and south of the country.

Agapito Llano
Agapito Llano

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